THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

Security of self-government for Egyptians

Even for an all-around sports person like me, I have to say that the events occurring in Egypt are causing me to read Section A of the Grand Rapids Press before picking up the sports section. It has even caused me to take a quick look on the Internet between clients to catch the latest developments. I’m encouraged by what I see.

Jerry Coon

The Egyptian people have suffered for the last 30 years under President Hosni Mubarak, his henchmen, and a police force determined to keep the people suffering. This kind of sounds like what was occurring at the founding of our country. The people had been and were suffering under the tyranny of Great Britain.

Take a few minutes to read the entire text of the Declaration of Independence as passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Go beyond the famously quoted second paragraph, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There is a whole litany of abuses spelled out in the next many, many paragraphs such as, “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people… For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury… For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent… He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” The detailing of these abuses goes on.

I dare say the people of that day would know exactly what the Egyptians of today are going through. How we were so very fortunate to have leaders such as George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson not only all be alive at the same time but also be in position to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred honor” was truly providential. It will take some of these types of patriots to step forward in Egypt if they are to end up with a freedom like ours. As history has shown, Providence does seem to strike when people rise up to help themselves. Let’s all hope that happens in Egypt today.

The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, lived a long life, reaching the age of 83 before dying on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. He was invited to attend a celebration to be held in Washington on that famous day. Ill health, however, prevented him from attending the ceremony.

He did send a letter of gratitude for the invitation that also offered his reflections of the original signing. It was the last words that Thomas Jefferson wrote. It directly pertains to the events happening in the Egypt and Tunisia of today. “I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us that day in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve of the choice we made. May it be to the world what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their back, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”

Let’s pray that the residents of Egypt, even though it’s 235 years after our Declaration of Independence, will “assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

Thomas Jefferson would be proud of today’s Egyptians. I’m thinking he would also be hoping for some providential intervention. This is Jerry Coon signing off, but not before noting that this Thursday, Feb. 17 is the day that Governor Snyder unveils his plan to put Michigan back on sound fiscal footing. It will be interesting to see if some segments suffer more pain or if all segments collectively suffer about the same. I have a feeling the pain will be universal.

Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent.
He owns Action Tax Service in Rockford.
Contact Jerry at

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